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Man; Dervish

by Jamie Baty

RC 193
1st Level Human Fighter
Medium-size Humanoid (Human)
Hit Dice: 1d10+1 (6 hp)
Initiative: +2 (+2 Dex)
Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares)
Armour Class: 13 (+2 Dex, +1 padded armour), touch 11, flat-footed 12
Base Attack/Grapple: +1/+3
Attack: Scimitar +4 melee (1d6 +2) or composite shortbow +3 range (1d6 +1)
Full Attack: As Attack
Space/Reach: 5 ft. /5 ft.
Special Attacks: ---
Special Qualities: ---
Saves: Fort +3, Ref +2, Will +1
Abilities: Str 14, Dex 15, Con 12, Int 8, Wis 12, Cha 10
Skills: Diplomacy +1, Handle Animal +1, Intimidate +1, Knowledge (religion) +0, Tumble+3
Feats: Dodge, Power Attack, Weapon Focus (Cutlass)
Environment: Any desert
Organisation: Solitary, Raiding Party (2-5), Host (10-30), Camp (30-300 plus 1 10th level cleric and 100% non-combatants)
Challenge Rating: 1
Treasure: Standard
Alignment: Usually any Lawful
Advancement: by character class
Level Adjustment: -

Dervishes are desert raiders. Their camps are usually made up of tents, but dervishes that are able to build wooden or brick stockades to help protect them. These camps contain the dervishes' treasure, livestock, women and children. As a result, many camps are self-sufficient.
Dervishes are noted for their fanatic belief in their philosophies and their intolerance of other views. On occasion they will wage a holy war in which they attempt to capture or kill all who have differing beliefs. Captives are given an opportunity to convert: if they refuse they could be killed or enslaved. Those encountered with similar beliefs might be asked to join the holy war, and those that refuse will be viewed with suspicion unless they can provide an acceptable reason not to.
Dervishes are most likely to be encountered in the Emirates of Ylaruam, but may be found in other areas of Mystara such as the Great Waste.

The dervish presented above is a human with the base stats of Str 14, Dex 15, Con 13, Int 8, Wis 12, Cha 10. Dervishes are always of the same race as the dominant race in an area. Dervishes do not generally accept outsiders of a different race into their group, even if they follow the same immortal or philosophy.

Dervishes rely on speed and quickness when fighting. They are fanatical and do not surrender. They will attempt to capture, rather than kill, foes to convert them.
Dervishes, although proficient with all simple and martial weapons and all armours and shields, prefer light armours that don't interfere with movement. Similarly, they like small and light weapons that can be used in close quarters. Higher level dervishes may duel-wield scimitars or other light weapons.

Most dervish combatants are fighters, but paladins, clerics, rogues, warriors, rangers and even druids may fill out their ranks. A variety of armaments and equipment may be found among them, and while most will be 1st or 2nd level, some higher level dervishes will be found. Non-combatants within the camp will cover a full spectrum of classes, professions and trades. Many dervish groups view arcane casting with great suspicion, and as a result will not have any wizards, sorcerers or bards in their numbers.

Dervish leaders are at least 11th level and are most likely clerics, paladins, or on occasion, a druid. Suggested prestige class options for dervish leaders are as follows: divine crusader, divine champion, divine oracle, evangelist, war priest and the Mystaran prestige class Ylari Dervish (only if in Ylaruam). These leaders will be very charismatic. They will be well-equipped, even if they don't appear to be well-equipped.